Gatekeepers of financial power: from London to Lagos

Cobbett, Elizabeth (2018) Gatekeepers of financial power: from London to Lagos. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal, 3 (3). pp. 364-380. ISSN 2380-2014

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Abstract

The main premise of this paper is that, until recently, African elites did not regulate or control financial flows moving across the continent. They were not financial gatekeepers. In Africa Since 1940, Cooper identified African elites as gatekeepers regulating access to resources and opportunities passing through strategic sites. This paper makes a case for revision of existing notions of the gatekeeper state in an ongoing effort to (re)negotiate the continent’s colonial past through two new arguments. The first is that financial power was never located at a ‘peripheral’ African gate, but resolutely held onto within leading financial centres, circumventing any opportunity for African elites to control financial flows. Failure to distinguish between types of flows distorts analysis of African political economic power under colonialism. It is only in the post-2000 period, that we see powerful African states driving the integration of African markets into the global financial system. The second argument is that these African goals to control financial flows correspond more to ‘gateway’ strategies than to gatekeeper. Drawing on the case of Lagos, I demonstrate how this ‘gateway’ concept better captures trans-scalar processes of new financial clustering in Africa’s emerging markets than a concept associated with ‘gates’ under Empire.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: Beyond the gatekeeper state Guest Editor: Sara Rich Dorman
Uncontrolled Keywords: gatekeeper,finance,lagos,gateways, london,africa,colonialism
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 11:30
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 00:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/66839
DOI: 10.1080/23802014.2018.1456955

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